Millennium Star Amitabh Bachchan’s Don recently completed 44 years of its release. Fans and movie lovers including Big B himself celebrated the iconic moment with high excitement. The craze for the movie still is obvious from the recent incidents where movie lovers across India celebrated the 80th birthday of their matinee idol at the 4-day long film festival "Bachchan Back to the Beginning."
Of his several iconic movies, 1978’s ‘Don’ has a different fan base. Apart from its multiple remakes in Telugu, Tamil and other languages, the movie was once again remade in Hindi in 2006 starring Shah Rukh Khan in the titular role. Apart from the stature of the real ‘Don’, the original movie had several iconic songs including the title song of Don and most importantly Khaike Paan Banaraswala.
Kishore Kumar was the musical voice of Amitabh Bachchan aka Don aka Vijay in the movie for all the songs. However, ‘Khaike Paan Banaraswala’ song has a different fan base and a legendary tale.
When initially Don was in the post-production phase before its theatrical release, ‘Khaike Paan Banaraswala’ was not included in the movie. However, the makers opted to add a song after Director Chandra Barot showed the film to his mentor Manoj Kumar seeking his advice and suggestions. Actor Manoj Kumar advised Barot that the film was going too fast and needs some space to breathe. He suggested the director of adding a song which should be placed after the interval.
Music composer duo Kalyanji-Anandji was approached to make a song on an urgent basis. The music composer duo had this song in their collection as they had created it for Dev Anand. However, the song was disliked by the evergreen actor and he said that the song won’t match his image. Kalyanji-Anandji presented this song to the director and got a green signal.
Later, Kishore Daa was requested to lend his voice to the song. However, Kishore Daa denied the offer and asked to search for some other singer. The makers went on pleading with Kishore Daa to convince him and said that he was the only person who can justify the song.
Finally, Kishore Daa agreed and reached the recording studio, but with a condition that he will sing it in one go. If they liked it well and good, if they didn’t, they need to search for some other singer.
Certain reports claimed, at the studio, he ordered to bring Banarasi Paan. He went on chewing a number of Banarasi Paan. Meanwhile, he had asked the recordist to record his voice while he was eating the paan. It was Kishore Daa’s idea to record the expressions of eating Paan before he actually went on to record the iconic song.
Indeed, the expressions of chewing Paan and spitting it out before the song were icing on the cake. The song played a vital role in elevating the craze for the song as well as the movie and the rest is history.
This shows the dedication of Kishore Daa who certainly aimed to sync the mood of the song properly.
Kishore Daa clinched the 26th Filmfare Award for this song as the Best Playback Singer. Even the lyricist Anjaan and Kalyanji-Anandji were nominated for Filmfare in their respective categories.
The Hindi remake starring SRK also included ‘Khaike Paan Banaraswala’, and Udit Narayan lent his voice to the same. However, the remake song lacked the spark and magic which was served in the original.
Undoubtedly, Kishore Kumar's voice has aided several top actors including Amitabh Bachchan, Rajesh Khanna, etc to reach the stardom they enjoyed at their times. Nevertheless, the songs remain timeless. Legends will forever remain legends and originals have no competitors. This is proved by the tale of Khaike Paan Banaraswala.